G-STIC 2017 successfully highlighted the range of technologies that are available to accelerate wastewater & resource recovery as well as smart water management. With both large-scale centralised systems and small-scale decentralised systems, wastewater is increasingly used as a source of clean water, energy, fertilizer and other materials for agriculture, industrial or domestic use. Likewise, ICT innovations have driven a more efficient and alternative use of water resources as well as the creation of new water-related services.
Review of the SDG6 (clean water and sanitation) implementation, however, has revealed the need for a major technology transition if the ambitious SDG goals related to water are to be reached. A major bottleneck to the achievement of the water-related SDGs is the lack of financing and investments in innovation. Even if the rapid development of water-related science and technology will have a profound impact on the delivery of the SDGs, innovation is only taking place at a snail’s pace. Financial resources spent on innovation in the energy sector, to give an example, are a thousand times the resources spent on innovation in the water sector. One of the main reasons for this is that we undervalue water.
G-STIC 2018 will look into the hurdles and solutions for the implementation and upscaling of integrated technological solutions. Focusing on innovations to create value from water, we will ask
- How can we mobilise significant investments in water technology and innovations?
- How significant is the role of nature-based solutions for the achievement of the water-related SDGs?
- What are effective and sustainable business models that support the mobilisation of sufficient financing?
- What needs to be done to facilitate the creation of new business models and partnerships in the water and wastewater services sector?
- What are key challenges and opportunities to for new public-private partnerships in the water and wastewater services sector?